We’ve collected some photos, video and reports from the Duck Lake Fire. Photos are all courtesy the Michigan DNR.
“This fire is an eye-opener for a lot of people. In the 1930s and ’40s, we had a lot of major fires go through this country and burn a lot of old forests, but we’ve gotten complacent since then. These things can really blow up.”
~Veteran Crystal Falls DNR firefighter Jeff West
Updated May 31 In mLive’s article on the Duck Lake Fire, Jeff West ranked the fire at an 8 or 9 on a scale of 1-10. Today’s DNR report (May 31) says that cooler temperatures Wednesday evening allowed fire crews to get to 57% containment of the fire. There are 40 miles of fireline in this long narrow fire (see map) that has destroyed 132 of 138 structures within its 21,458 acre area.
By contrast, the Sleeper Lake Fire from 2007 was estimated to have burned 18,000 acres. The Christian Science Monitor explains that this is it’s the 2nd largest fire since 1980′s 25,000 acre fire near Mio and the massive 1.1 million acre Great Michigan Fire of 1871 that killed over 200 people.
Today Gov. Rick Snyder toured the fire zone. He heard complaints about cellphone coverage and residents wanting earlier notification. U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow also visited the fire command center in Newberry today, pledging to bring FEMA dollars to help rebuild the destroyed buildings.
If you’re looking to donate to help the firefighters, mLive has the details on Red Cross and Duck Lake Fire Center needs. They go through 488 bananas a day “to get their potassium back in their bodies because they sweat so much.” Skip the candy (except for suckers) in favor of bottles of water & Gatorade and energy bars and beef jerky snacks. The firefighters also need moleskin shoe liners to protect their feet from heat, bandanas and “socks, socks and more socks.”
Tahquamenon Falls State Park remains closed due to the proximity of the Duck Lake Fire in Luce County, and there is currently no estimate on when the Park will re-open.
You can also see some aerial video of the fire from the Michigan DNR.